As a consultant, one of the things I tend to look for when evaluating a client's program is something psychologist call "cognitive dissonance". Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort caused by holding two conflicting cognitions (ideas, values, beliefs, etc.). In simpler terms, it's the internal conflict you feel when you're told to do one thing but are rewarded for doing something else.
Case in point is a recent article on the Pacific Gas and Electric Company's incentive program for gas surveys. These gas surveys are used to determine the overall safety of the gas pipeline system and to direct repair crews to potential problem areas. One would think that the company would have an incentive program that encourages finding and correcting problems. Instead, PG&E's program rewarded supervisors and crews who found fewer leaks and kept repair costs down. The conflict between being told that your job is to find leaks but rewarding you for not finding leaks creates cognitive dissonance.
The results are predictable - people will tend to perform the tasks for which they are rewarded and avoid those for which they are penalized. When internal whistle-blowers finally got the attention of senior management in April 2008, PG&E began an inspection of its gas system that by December 2008 had found more leaks than had been reported between 2004 and 2008.
Although the incentive program was discontinued in 2008, it takes a long time for an organization to change it's culture. During an emergency survey following the San Bruno pipeline explosion in 2010, PG&E found 38 major gas leaks, 4 serious enough to require reports to the Federal government. Survey crews had only reported six major leaks the previous year.
This is an extreme case of cognitive dissonance, to be sure, but it's not really all that unusual - I find examples of it all the time in government and business. So take the time to look at what results you're trying to achieve with your programs and compare them with the behaviours you're actually rewarding. You may find out why you're not achieving the results you want.